Stigma and Dicrimination on HIV/AIDS

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  • HIV is contracted through blood, sexual fluids and breast milk. But the number one way that HIV is transmitted is through sexual contact 85 – 90% in the world. Since this is the case, shame is often accompanies the virus.
  • Stigma is defined as the mind-set that prevails around a person who has HIV. We may be thinking ‘how did the person contract the virus?’ or ‘if people only did the right thing, then they would not have HIV’. It is what happens in our minds. These mind-sets need to be challenged in order to gain a heart of compassion for the individual so that it may be the same as if someone tells us that they have cancer, or another illness.
  • Discrimination is defined as the actions people take to marginalize individuals because of what they believe about them. These can be, and usually are governed by laws in a country. Although someone may outwardly treat a person with respect, the underlying mind-set may still be prevalent and felt by them.